As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we want to express our gratitude for you, our phenomenal community of innovators. Your hard work and great ideas keep us inspired every day! We have so many things to be thankful for this year—to name just a few, our inventors, new partnerships, and the return of Everyday Edisons in February 2020!
The mother and the fun aunt
While we’re on the subject, did you know that gratitude can actually boost innovation? Of course, there is great truth in Plato’s adage that necessity is the mother of invention, giving us products such as Post-Its and Velcro that it’s hard to imagine life without. But gratitude might be considered necessity’s fun aunt, who fosters creativity in a totally different way. Many studies have shown that cultivating gratitude can make us happier, but did you know that being happier can also make us more creative?
When we experience negative emotions, all of our energy and attention is spent managing them. When we feel gratitude, on the other hand, we enter a calm frame of mind that makes us more receptive to information and able to consider new possibilities. As Pete Sulack, the founder of StressRX.com, explains,
When you are grateful, your stress is reduced and you experience positive emotions. These in turn help you remember peripheral details more vividly, think outside of the box, and recognize common themes among random or unassociated ideas. All of this adds up to a more creative response.Pete Sulack
The attention in every invention
This Thanksgiving, after you reflect on the people and experiences for which you are grateful, think about the everyday inventions that make your life better. You may even come across some of these products as you prepare the Thanksgiving meal!
When a product makes something you do every day easier and saves you time, it shows that someone has paid careful attention to a common human activity. Whoever invented this item didn’t cut corners, didn’t just try to make something that just looked or sounded novel, but drilled down to ask “what would really make this experience better, and how can I bring it to fruition?”
It feels like having a conversation with a friend who is really, really listening.
For me, this invention is thumb holes in running shirts and jackets. Any time I run in weather under 50 degrees, I am so thankful to the person who thought to make this small adaptation to athletic clothing. What is it for you?
While necessity may still remain the primary driver of invention, don’t underestimate the value of brainstorming your new idea from a position of gratitude. By recognizing the products or adaptations that have really addressed a need, you may find more inspiration than you do when thinking about the need itself.